Where Have the Manners Gone? – Rant

shoes by Berluti, picture courtesy of Watch Anish
† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † shoes by Berluti, picture courtesy of Watch Anish

Let me preface this by saying this has nothing to do with shoes.

Every now and then, I get so fed up with how people act here in London that I just have to vent it out. I would do so a lot more often if this blog was not tied to a business but as it is, I try to keep these rants to a minimum. But as I have a platform to speak to the people, sometimes I just need to take advantage of it in order to get a load off of my chest. And it nearly always stems from what I see on public transportation here in London or how people act on the pavement when walking around.

Now don’t get me wrong with this post as it will be directed at those that live in London. I love London, and Londoners, but absolutely despise the people that have turned into the rat-like mentality that throws away all sense and replaces it with the mentality of me, me, me, now, now, now and screw the person next to me. And that is becoming all too common here in London, and especially with the however millions of tube and bus commuters there are. And that is not to say that everyone is like that as I know that many are like me and think the way that I do, but I do feel like I am quickly becoming the minority as all sense of manners have seemed to disappear for the majority of Londoners and/or tourists.

the shoe snob

This sense of being in a rush at all times (and for no reason let me add) has consumed people’s brain and thus day to day activities. London does this to you. Whether you are dictated by your train coming at 6 or 36 mins past the hour, need to sit on the carriage that is closest to the exit to ensure a speedy getaway from the tube or will cram your way onto a full carriage barging everyone over when you could simply wait 2 more mins (not going to drastically change your life), I just feel that everyone has lost their f***ing mind in this city. And people love to blame this on big cities but I disagree. I think that this is London and how it has become due to certain cultural mentalities that I have yet to understand. I have been to NYC many many times and always take the underground but I never see this disgusting behavior, nor did I see it in Hong Kong. I do know that Tokyo has issues with the tube as well but heard that the infamous videos are the suburb trains that commute to Tokyo but not what it is like in the city itself.

But why is it like this? Why have I seen a lady that must have been late 60’s, early 70’s with two luggage’s (that must have been able to carry 40kg a piece) attempting to take them down the stairs in the tube without one person trying to help her and more than 20 capable men blowing right by her? Why did I see a guy get his earphones stuck on another guy’s backpack while attempting to exit the bus and start aggressively yanking on the cord to get it off (looking as if it was about to rip the guys backpack) without simply staying calm and taking it off slowly which would have resulted in doing so easily? Why do I constantly see women offering their seats to pregnant ladies on the tube but the men stay seated? Why do people run in the underground? Where they hell are they going? Why do people cut you off on the escalators literally stepping right in front of you or being so close behind you you can feel their breath on you? WHY??????

shoes by Allan Boudain
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What is wrong with this society? No one says thank you anymore and I am always blown away when someone does. How sad is that that I am blown away by a simple thank you. It should be said all of the time. Any time someone holds the door open for you, or lets you pass first or does anything that puts you before them is a reason to thank another person. But people constantly just take advantage of someone’s kindness without a shred of thankfulness. It’s disgusting, it really is. I personally blame technology. Don’t get me wrong, I love technology but I feel that too many weak people have let it replace life itself and the meaning and importance of it. Many people now live in a non-existent reality where nothing outside of themselves matters. It’s strange and sad at the same time, like when you see 4 people at a table in a restaurant and all of them on their phone. Wtf??? I am not going to lie either, I have been apart of that, but feel immediately disgusted when I realize it. But it happens so often. I guarantee if we all threw away our TV’s and Smartphones we would go back to a society of honor and manners. But it would seem that the larger and more advanced technology becomes the more that we are trained to be like rats keeping our heads down, scurrying around only consumed with where we are going and not with what really matters in life: just being happy and content.

Come on people, open your eyes and your brains and realize that we are all here on this planet and if we all were there for one another and not so consumed with our own false idea of self-importance there would be a lot less problems in our world.

Rant done. Thanks for reading.

shoes and patina by Septieme Largeur
† † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † † †shoes and patina by Septieme Largeur

8 thoughts on “Where Have the Manners Gone? – Rant”

  1. Malik Merchant

    Hey Justin, I’m from Mumbai, India. I’m an avid reader of your blog. After going through your rant I can totally understand your feelings. That’s the way society (worldwide) is behaving these days. It’s become an increasingly annoying trend I must say. Specially here in Mumbai with 20 million people everyday is a challenge. Public transport and traffic etiquette has seemingly disappeared with everyone just being so self centered and unaware of the reality around them. Even I feel that tech has played a big role in this but that’s the way it is with life on this planet. Cheers to your blog mate! – Malik Merchant.

  2. Manporium Blog

    I thoroughly enjoyed reading this little rant, and the photographs of the shoes (absolute filth, by the way) served to help keep my blood pressure in check.

    I genuinely don’t think there’s any reason not to be well mannered – ever. Etiquette is a bit of a dying thing, and we should do everything we can to uphold it. A simple please and thank you goes a long way, as does holding a door open for someone!

    I do love a good rant…


  3. You are right! – and that is more than a rant, it is an analysis, too. If it is not so in Tokyo and NY, God bless them! It IS the same in Berlin, where I live! I feel the worst thing about it is, it effects you after some years. Not to look into peoples eyes, not saying sorry, when I accidentally get to near to somebody, and especially, not saying “thank you” or other friendly things to others. I feel raped to do things, I absolutely do not like. For twenty years in Berlin I have been always the last one entering an U-Bahn (tube car or also the tram), I still and always say “Thank you” when people let me pass by. The worst thing now is people entering the U-Bahn, when others still get of. They really re-force you in, before you can get off. I have started to bump into them deliberately and hard. And I have started not to say sorry when I bump into someone and feel that he/she deserves it. AND I do think this is the hardest thing: To stay human and right and “always well mannered” as Nathan here says so right. THIS is what we, who understand these problems can do: Do the proper thing, always. Be always well mannered! This must be and stay essential! As Michael Jackson said: “I¬īm starting with the man in the mirror”. It is hard these days, but the only chance for mankind!


  4. I’m not entirely sure you can blame this on tech… We have the same tech pretty much everywhere, yet (as you note) this problem is much worse in some places that in others. I think people use tech to fill in for their alienation, but I don’t think it’s the cause. I’m not sure what the cause is though…

  5. Basically my friend, humans have lost respect for one another, that is what the problem is unfortunately in the world today!

    1. I agree.

      And, Justin… you could change London for Madrid in your “rant”… and it will be also right. I could have written it…

      So sad.

  6. Justin, as an American tourist in London over the past 16 years I have seen quite a change in behavior among the populace. But not just in the ever amazing city of London–that goes for middle America where I am from, as well. My take is that the world’s population has increased to the point where it’s difficult to manage the norms and checks and balances of even a decade ago. It is not just technology (which I also would be loathe to live without), but that has contributed to it, along with several other things, such as a sense of needing to get to and complete more tasks as fast as possible. Because the perception is that there are too many things to do, too many choices, and one needs to get as much of all that as is humanly possible in order to feel a satisfactory degree of self-worth. In 1999 I was so impressed using the tube, witnessing the orderly queuing and general politeness of the commuters, so many people reading so many books on their way to their destinations, so many people being able to be in such close proximity to one another without feeling their personal space was being invaded and trampled over. Fast forward to summer, 2015, and Oh My God!! An all-out battle to even get on an overcrowded tube car, where the shrug of “sorry–you go ahead,” or “here, please, take my seat” was replaced with a near desperation to board and grab a space, followed by the claustrophobic fear in the eyes and the weariness of those resigned to this state of things. A rant is necessary because the situation is one that cannot be stopped or changed, and I don’t expect it to be, either. Our acceptance of a deteriorated state of society is growing at an ever faster rate: remember when a few years ago we were aghast at anyone answering or using a mobile phone in a restaurant? Now it’s not even considered rude (mostly). In theatres whole rows are aglow with the LED screens of cellular technology–it’s so, so hard to turn that thing off! Well, this will no doubt appear as an antiquated argument very soon. Words of a luddite codger! (Who is also a bona-fide shoe snob and who loves your blog and your shop and your taste!)

  7. Ramon Cuberta

    Common sense, good manners, behavior, more common sense and good manners and behaviour! Everywhere and every time…

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